The nonprofit Center for Resourceful Building Technology (CRBT) was founded in 1990 by builder Steve Loken ,who was increasingly concerned about the rate of natural resource consumption in construction, and the declining quality of dimensional lumber supplied to job sites. CRBT actively promoted resource efficiency in building design, materials selection and construction practices through research, education and demonstration.
CRBT was dedicated to promoting environmentally responsible practices in construction. It worked to serve as both catalyst and facilitator in encouraging building technologies which realize a sustainable and efficient use of resources
Practicing resource efficiency makes it possible to reduce the pressure that construction places on natural resources. At this time, constructing and operating buildings consumes more materials and energy than any other single activity in the United States. Increasing consumer demand, combined with the growth of human population, is reducing our worldwide natural resource base even as technological innovation creates new possibilities. CRBT sought to demonstrate to the public that efficient building methods provide a better quality of life and protect the environment.
CRBT identified and promoted building products and methods that do more with less: that provide building materials from reused salvaged, currently underutilized, or waste materials; that provide sufficient housing with reduced resource use; and that produce less pollution and waste than conventional building materials and technologies.
From 1990 until 2000, CRBT worked to educate the public on issues relating to housing and the environment, with particular emphasis on innovative building materials and technologies which place less stress on regional and global ecosystems. CRBT projects include demonstration structures, training seminars and educational publications.
Foremost among the resources offered by CRBT was the “Guide to Resource Efficient Building Elements.” This publication first appeared in 1991 as a reference for builders interested in locating the type of materials used in the first demonstration project sponsored by CRBT, ReCRAFT 90. The Guide evolved into a tool designed to meet the needs of a changing building industry and increasingly well-informed homeowners. The Guide was designed to serve as a tool for not only building industry professionals, but also owners building or remodeling their homes or places of work. After six printed editions the Guide was published online, to improve access to the information it contains and to make it possible to update that information continuously. The products listed in this Guide were determined to be more resource efficient than conventional building materials Although the Guide hasn’t been updated since CRBT was dissolved in the early 2000s, the last version of the Guide can still be accessed at the National Center for Appropriate Technologies’ web site at this web address:
The nonprofit organization Sustainable Northwest honored CRBT; naming it to their list of Founders of a New Northwest in October 2001